The chairman of the Schoolwear Association, David Burgess, is calling on MPs, parents and schools to consider the true cost of cheap school uniform.
In a letter to the Daily Mail, Burgess thanked journalists of a recent report, highlighting that women in Bangladesh are being paid poverty wages to make bargain basement school clothing for some of Britain’s biggest supermarkets.
“We hope the Labour MP Sarah Jones has read your investigation,” says Burgess in his letter to the Daily Mail. “Last week, she said it was “incredibly frustrating” for parents to see supermarkets offering very low prices when schools required items to be bought from school uniform specialists.
He continues, “We remind schools, parents and the MP, that members of the Schoolwear Association sign up to a Code of Conduct that requires them to source clothing ethically.
“A well balanced, good quality uniform looks better and lasts longer than off-the-shelf clothing. It helps to bring improved learning, better behaviour and greater safety. It reduces peer pressure at a time when teachers are seeing growing mental health issues in class. And it does not come with the sinister hidden price tag of exploitation.”
Perhaps the most shocking revelation in the report was that mothers working in atrocious conditions to make the cheap school uniforms, cannot afford to send their own children to school.
Burgess concludes, “When it comes to paying a fair price for uniform, we passionately believe every child – whether in Britain or Bangladesh – is worth it.”